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August 12th, 2009
06:20 AM ET

Health care debate: What's true, what's false

How difficult is it to find answers to what’s in the health care bills making their way though Congress?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire."]

It’s not easy at all if you pay attention to all those town hall shouts, YouTube clips, and 30 second commercials that have dominated the news and the Internet over the past few weeks. In many instances supporters and opponents of health care reform have reduced a very complex issue into simplistic, completely opposite interpretations about what’s in the bills.

Bill Adair is the Washington Bureau Chief of the St. Petersburg Times, and also the person behind, a Web site that seeks to find the truth in complex policy debates. We asked him to assess the accuracy of some of the claims made by the two camps.

Opponents of the plans under consideration in the House and Senate say it will create socialized medicine. Supporters say that’s not true because they rely substantially on private health plans. Adair says it’s “not correct to say that it’s nationalizing the health care system or that it’s socialized medicine.” But he adds that there’s enough uncertainty in how the plan might evolve that several years in the future “it could lead to nationalized health care.”

What about keeping your current insurance under a new plan? Critics say you can kiss goodbye to what you have now. The president has said repeatedly that if you have health insurance now, you can keep it just the way it is. Who’s right?

That’s a tricky one, says Adair. If a bill is passed similar to those under discussion in the House and Senate, “on day one if you have (for example) ‘Bob’s Health Insurance’... you’ll be able to keep that health insurance...” But, once again, that could change over time. As the market place evolves, Adair says, ‘Bob’s’ might decide they don’t want to offer health insurance anymore.”

The cost of health care reform has also drawn very different conclusions. Opponents, and even some supporters, say it could worsen already large government deficits. The president says the plan will be deficit neutral.

Who’s right? Adair says the president and his Democratic allies are on shaky ground here. He says there are serious questions about how the plan will be paid for, and that predictions of a deficit neutral program rests on “hopeful accounting.”

And then there’s the recent controversy about so-called “death panels”, a term that Sarah Palin used to describe an element in the plan, which allows consultations with doctors about end-of-life services such as hospice.

Palin wrote on Facebook, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil...”

This one is just not true, say Adair. “No death panels ... that one we gave a ‘pants-on-fire’ on our Truth-O-Meter.

Filed under: Health • Politics
soundoff (82 Responses)

    Republicans/Conservative's such as S.Palin,N.Gingrich,Russ(oxycontin) Limbaugh,G.Beck, lying Americanswith stright faces telling people the health care plan has death palin's design too kill older folk, is downright UN AMERICAN,these 18TH century Republicans,should be taught a lesson,by real AMERICANS,that this country is sick & tired of these kind of politic's,trying to hold America hostage with scare tatics, these people sound more like pimp's to me rather than than people with the well being of our citizen's,they should spend some time trying to help come up with a bill,this the American people can appreciate.Why are these 18TH century people still matter in this 21ST century?

    November 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  2. Colleen THomas

    What I am hearing lately indicates that the President may not push forward on a government option for those who have no health care. THIs is really sad and disappointing as this is one of the things we most desperately need.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  3. Loridoke

    The whole point is Government is getting too involved and trying to gain too much control of our lives! I don't trust this administration to do what's good for us and not do what's good for them to gain control of the USA. POWER is the issue. Government being in volved in programs makes for inefficiency and graft..what about the expensive toilet seats in the budget of a government agency, I think may be the military... I don't remember which, but it hit the news a while ago. Do you want to risk your health management fo this type of care? Oh, excuse me, you waited in the wrong line please move to the other one (after an hour). It is an uncaring and inefficient system. Whydoes Obama need thos eCzars around him?? its all about control! Chicago style.I'msure there are minds in Congress who could come up with a better plan that doesn't involve Government Control! and New Government Agencies being developed to run the thing. More tax dollars spent.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  4. sandysandragooding

    I have medicare a and b also a bc bs secondary that is paid by me thru my retirement plan that has already been taxed. I have had colon and rectal cancer,radiation,chemo,surgery pet and cat scans all kinds of
    lab . I have never paid for anything except copays for medication.I have been very careful to use network providers. the premium has gone up 20.00 a month in three years and then I received a 10.00 increase in my retirement check. I do not want any idiot in washington touching my healthcare and since I have paid for mine I don"expect to pay for anyone else. Maybe the gov should pay for their's. They are the cause of jobs being shipped overseas and the loss of the people losing their healthcare. so they should pay

    August 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  5. Lou Norcia

    Why doesn't the gov. insure the pre existing condition of an individual. In this way the insurance company does not have to deal with a pre existing condition and the individual can obtain health insurance and it probably will be a lot cheaper

    August 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  6. Lou Norcia

    Why doesn't the gov. insure the pre existing condition,in this way a person can go out and buy medical insurance at a cheaper price. The insurance companies will not have to worry about any pre existing conditions and a person will be able to obtain medical insurance.

    August 16, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  7. bebi

    My daughter was born at 26 weeks in 1983, spent 2 months in the hospital, inspite of having insurance frommy husband employer,
    we had to pay extra ten thousand dollar. Compare to my friend
    in Canada whose son was hospitalized there, they did not have to
    pay a penny extra. The right wing should stop demonizing the
    Canadian and European healthcare system.

    August 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  8. bonnie deely

    When doing true or false analysis, are you getting information from different bills, I believe there are five, or are you taking information on HR3200, which is out of committee? In my opinion, if you are using all five bills, then you can decide and come up with the answer you want, claiming "the bill" does not say that...

    August 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  9. markp

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    If you turn on FOX you will hear nothing of death panels… Only CNN keeps this rumor alive for some unknown reason.. Maybe they think there doing the work of the people or good reporting but NO one on FOX the number one rated news station is feeding in to this so called death panel..

    August 13, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  10. Colleen THomas

    Iam thinking maybe people should think of this health care reform like public schools, everyone derserves an education and the govnerment through public schools makes sure it is available, but you don't have to attend, it is a choice. If you choose you can pay a lot of money and send your children to a private school. It is just something available to those you wish to use it or can't pay for private insurance. It will also help to keep costs down and in check.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  11. robert W

    I feel badly for those Americans who are being mislead about the details of healthcare reform,(intentionally or otherwise?) FYI: 2 years ago, Canadians voted our most important citizen of all time to be Tommy Douglas, the man who instituted national healthcare, so I ask: if national healthcare is soooooooooo bad, then why did our population vote him greatest of all time,, (even against Gretzky!) and others such as the inventor of the telephone- Mr.Bell and many many other famous and contributing members of our country???
    just a thought.
    the fear mongering that is going on is without doubt or fail being funded and pushed by the insurance companies!

    August 13, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  12. Paul

    I'm a Road Warrior, with decent health care, but I also personally worry and try to take care of my health by eating right, exercising regularly, and doing what I can to stay healthy. Yet when I do occasionally need “care” I want to be CURED, not just TREATED. Today's health care and anything I've read about is still more focused on making treatment available to and affordable for the "masses". We need a system that focuses on health (after all it is called health care) and curing. Government can help by promoting reform that creates a countrywide system that exploits technology to do things like make medical records ([privately and securely] available any where to which ever doctor is treating/curing a patient,. Technology would also then enable the tracking of cure vs treat. If a patient's records showed ALL interactions with the medical system, the system could be mined for doctors (and patients) who are abusing the system.

    Another thing that needs to be done is to remove the ridiculous laws that allow people to sue doctors for atrocious amounts of money.. Yes mistakes should be punished, but the cost of malpractice insurance is clearly one of the major reasons that health care costs so much in the United States (vs other countries).

    Finally iit's interesting to read comments about health care companies making money and the outrage people have at that. Just this week CNN reported:

    "NEW YORK ( - U.S. banks will collect a record $38.5 billion in overdraft fees this year, with nearly all the revenue paid by just 10% of customers, according to a research report released Monday."

    That's more money than any of the health care companies made last year. And more interesting is one of the posts in this column praised the credit card reform, seems like the banks just "moved" the excessive fees , and the extortion on people who can't afford health care is still happening, just in a different venue.

    Finally if something does get passed and put into practice and it includes a “public option”, every member and employee working in the Federal Government should be insured with that option; it’s called “eat your own dog food”.

    Net is health care should be about creating a HEALTHY nation, focus on health, promote the use of technology (very little invention needed,, more application of the technology), and if done right the system will result in a healthier country that in the long run actually saves not spends excessive amounts of money it doesn't have.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  13. Bernice

    Most of the horrible things may be slightly misworded in the words of the American People, but those scarry things are actually in this bill! Read it! Start with page 16, even tho they deny, one payer systems is there!! They just word things funny so the wool can be pulled over our eyes, yet once again!

    August 13, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  14. Richard H.

    Truth-in-Advertising Laws

    Advertising laws are aimed at protecting consumers by requiring advertisers to be truthful about their products and to be able to substantiate their claims. All businesses must comply with advertising and marketing laws, and failure to do so could result in costly lawsuits and civil penalties. So before you start an advertising campaign, it's important you understand some basic rules.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main federal agency that enforces advertising laws and regulations. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

    * Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
    * Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
    * Advertisements cannot be unfair.

    Additional laws apply to ads for specialized products like consumer leases, credit, 900 telephone numbers, and products sold through mail order or telephone sales. State and local governments also regulate advertising, and enforcement is usually the responsibility of a state attorney general, a consumer protection agency or a local district attorney.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  15. joe

    Here are facts right from the pages:

    • Page 30, line 23 — There will be a government committee that decides what treatments you get.
    • Page 50, line 152 — Health care will be provided to all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
    • Page 59, lines 21-24 — Government will have direct access to bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
    • Page 110, lines 13-18 — An excise tax (will be levied) on all goods from companies not offering government health care.
    • Page 239, lines 14-24 — Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid.
    • Page 304, lines 17-19 — Government does not have to protect your private information.
    • Page 427, lines 15-24 — Government mandates programs for orders for end of life.
    • Page 429, lines 10-12 — "Advance care consultation" may include an order for end of life plans.
    • Page 438, Section 1236 — The government will develop a patient decision making aid program that you and your Doctor will use.
    • Page 660-671 — "Doctors in Residency" – The government will tell you where your residency will be.

    God help us all. Do you really want the Government to tell you what is best when you are battling a disease. Would you not want to try everything to save yourself in order to beat cancer, or would you rather the Government tell you which drugs to use and if they don't work, then bye bye.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  16. John Hamilton

    While Obamacare may not intend to ration health care, that is almost certain to happen. Look what is going on with Medicare. Look what is going on in every country that the government has taken over health care. There is a shortage of funds. Therefore, even though the liberals do not intend to ration health care, I see nothing that will convince me that the plan will be properly funded. Pres Obama has already taken some money saving ideas off the table. He is still promising people everything and will bill the rich for it. No country in the world has been able to fund their program in this manner and neither can the US.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Theresa

    The more and more that news station play with the GOP the waist it will become.
    The GOP has paid off the new station to put their news out their...We need healthcare. The insurance companies are paying off GOP want to be. The lobbies will do anything...
    The GOP are telling you lies all the time..They want us not to equal healthcare.. They have great health insurance. All of house and senate have great health insurance and we are paying for it...You aren't even given this a change at all..
    We need healthcare for all of us...All the Eurpoe countries to pay healthcare by paying higher taxes and equal all the way around..Wrrhat is wrong with that..I don't have healthcare and very ill and I can't get SSI because they say I am not sick enough...Well SSI is wrong..It isn't in my head. But if it was I could get SSI..My husband been out of work all the time that we had GOP President in office. That would be eight years. Sent a son off to war and he came home with PTSD and his President I mean Bush didn't want him to get any benifits or pay off his college bills because he was a Army Revease for the state of NH and that dosen't count. Then I had a second son whom went to college for eight years. He wrestling his way though college. But he went on to get his masters and now he can't get a job and he lots college dents too.
    We all need healthcare and we need to the GOP to keep their mouths closed...They had the ball for the 20 years and put us in the poor house

    August 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  18. Mark

    Advance directives and end of life decisions are something for the patient and the family to be involved in, but HR 3200 pushes that the provider of service have this discussion with the patient at minimum every 5 years. Found on pages 424 and 425. I will copy this section below.

    21 Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the
    22 term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a con23
    sultation between the individual and a practitioner de24
    scribed in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning,
    25 if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has
    1 not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such
    2 consultation shall include the following:

    3 ‘‘(A) An explanation by the practitioner of ad
    4 vance care planning, including key questions and
    5 considerations, important steps, and suggested peo
    6 ple to talk to.

    7 ‘‘(B) An explanation by the practitioner of ad
    8vance directives, including living wills and durable
    9 powers of attorney, and their uses.

    10 ‘‘(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the
    11 role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.

    12 ‘‘(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list
    13 of national and State-specific resources to assist con
    14sumers and their families with advance care plan
    15ning, including the national toll-free hotline, the ad
    16vance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal
    17 service organizations (including those funded
    18 through the Older Americans Act of 1965).

    19 ‘‘(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the
    20 continuum of end-of-life services and supports avail
    21able, including palliative care and hospice, and bene
    22fits for such services and supports that are available
    23 under this title.

    Section E leaves it to the practitioner to name the benefits and supports of end of life services, which can lead to abuse because end of life decisions vary greatly from person to person based on faith or morals.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  19. Jim

    Ms. Costello displayed a diagram of how government-run healthcare would work. Then she stated that "no such diagram exists."

    CNN just displayed the diagram on national TV. Doesn't that mean it exists?

    Proper reporting should have been: "There is a diagram of government-run healthcare would work but CNN does not agree with with it."

    August 12, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  20. Tom Stratton

    An end of life advisory panel is definitely in the bill. Maybe the term "death panel" is a little strong, but to say that it is a myth is wrong. There is the probability that the panel will end up determining what care you will get, or will not get, in your older years.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  21. Chris Fry

    Was a Republican, but have been embarrassed since the election and especially now to have been a part of this negative, attacking, blaming, racist party – not as a whole but this is the image that I now see. It does not matter if I like the president or not, what should matter is that most of the hard working people of America are without healthcare and any intelligent and caring person would try their best to ensure that American people have healthcare.

    It would be a breath of fresh air for a journalist to get to the bottom of this spreading of rumor monging and false attacks about healthcare that is probably being spread by big money companies that would be in danger of losing greatly from government ran healthcare, like the pharmaceutical companies!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  22. Midwest Jeff

    There's such a rush to discredit Sara Palin's "death panel" allegation, that the "fact checkers" fail to investigate Palin's sources. Her fear of bureaucrats making subjective life or death decisions based on a patient's "productivity in society" seems to be a reference to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's quote in the New York Post saying that health care could be denied to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens". Given that Dr. Emanuel is the brother of the President's chief of staff, and an appointee to two important health care advisory positions, it is reasonable to think his words reflect the views of the administration. Before branding Palin a "pants on fire" liar, you should fact check the Post's editorial.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  23. KR Watertown NY

    Hello Carol, I keep hearing that the Health Care in Canada ranges from barely adequate to absolutely horrendous. Well as a Canadian who now lives in the US (my husbands idea) I am here to debunk the typical American myths.
    1. Elderly get limited health care. Sarah Palin said that the elderly and disabled will have to stand before Death Panels to plead their case. Health care for the elderly is fabulous in Canada compared to USA
    Elderly and disabled get full medical coverage(as does everyone) as well as prescription coverage far better than you do here. The disabled get full dental coverage also.
    2. Canadians are going broke paying the taxes to cover their Health Care. I guess that is why they live longer, have better roads, better hospitals, can afford to go anywhere in the world every winter for vacation. The average individual in Canada has more money in the bank and is in better health than the typical American.
    3. Canadians have to wait excessively long times for specialist appointments. Not true. Also not true that Canadians are dying on waiting lists. Again not true. Of course there have been cases of people who get killed in accidents on their way home from the referring doctor's office. I guess that could count. We live in Northern New York where there lots of specialists etc and several extremely good hospitals(Upstate Medical Center Hospital Syracuse to name just one of them) However to get in to see any of them takes months unless you are in a critical life and death situation. When moved back here several years ago, my multiply handicapped daughter who was put on Medicaid by New York State could not go to a local urologist because they would not take Medicaid as payment. So we were forced to travel long distances in some of the worst winter weather imaginable. We never had any of that "BS" in Canada. Unfortunately here we were on a waiting list for an appointment a process that took about 5 months.
    4. Canadians ration medical service. Not true. Although I can see where you Americans would come up with that. Your insurance companies do ration service even if they don't call it that. My husband isa retired US Army Vietnam Veteran (26 years service) and is covered by Tricare. We pay monthly for this and they cover most but not all his medical costs. We do not get to choose the doctor we want for primary care we must use the clinic at Fort Drum NY where we may not even see a MD but a PA. We can pay extra for an additional private plan who again only uses in-program physicians and we would be paying for each visit on top of this. When we need surgery or to see a specialist the referring physician must request an authorization from the Insurance company that administers Tricare (for a profit) for the US Gov't. We then wait for them to authorize or deny and for them to tell us which doctor we can see and how many times or how much of a procedure or which procedures they will authorize. In not so many words this is rationing. This also adds to the wait time to see a specialist. This may not get you to the specialist your doctor and you think is the best person/place for you to be treated
    just the cheapest.

    These are just a few of the myths created and perpetuated by your extremely profitable insurance companies. I watched some of Claire McCaskill's town hall meeting where her research indicated the remuneration paid to the top US insurance companies CEOs last year was $12.9 Billion US dollars. That money comes out of the insurance buying public's pockets. Just imagine if all that money and the immense profits these insurance companies make each year went instead towards medical care and back into your pockets how wonderful health care would be here? Yes some people who work for insurance companies would lose their jobs but the government agency responsible for paying for health care will need to expand and there will be jobs created there. With the savings people will have more money to spend and or invest and this creates jobs. They will need many more home health care and nursing home staff (as in Canada) so there is more jobs. Will the insurance companies disappear probably not, they could sell other types of insurance. Media people might suffer since the advertising revenue from health plans will obviously decline or disappear altogether. I forgot to mention that in Canada there is no one cut off or refused coverage because of pre existing conditions and you cannot exhaust your benefits. You don't have to renew your coverage in Canada and run the risk of denial because you are sick or have had a major illness in the past. Yes they do have some problems but it is far better there than here for elderly and sick people. If treatment is not available the provincial health care plan will find treatment and sent you there and pay for it. Many times in the US sometimes in Europe and elsewhere.
    Americans need to get the facts and stop listening to the myths and start using your heads. There you go the money you could be saving could be spent on schools and your kids will be better educated.
    Thank you for providing this forum and letting me voice my opinion. KR in Watertown.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  24. Bill

    Gee, Carol, maybe it's because these seniors want to live even longer. You sound like a "death panel" would!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  25. Shirley

    Some people don't want to hear the truth. They want to follow nonsense and hate – for their own reasons.

    I lost my health care coverage when I lost my job (over a year ago). I have not seen a doctor or dentist since then. I can pay my daily/monthly living expenses or go bankrupt paying medical bills. My savings need to last until I can find another job.

    I've worked since the age of 16, now I'm 43 – I've always paid my way. Since I've started paying for insurance, it has increased significantly. When I first started paying for family coverage, the premium was $75 per month (for three people). My last employer was over $300 per month for three people. The plans were a little different, but not that much. My daughter (23 year old college student) started working and got her own coverage, but my monthly premium was the same (over $300 per month) for family coverage (now 2 people).

    At that point, I had 'a choice". I chose to pay for individual coverage for me through my employer and get an individual policy for my 6-year-old son with BCBS. When I lost my job, individual COBRA was over $500 (may have been more, not including dental)

    We need healthcare reform because we need more choices. The private insurance companies need competition. They charge too much and they've drastically cut benefits over the years.

    For those people who have health insurance – great, good for you and your family. President Obama and several other representatives have said, "If you like your insurance coverage, keep it". Some people are grasping at straws, trying to make the health care discussion about 'those people taking over'. Some have said, I want my country back. What? If anyone had the true right to say "I want my country back", it would be the Native Americans. Anyone other than the Native American (Indian) is an immigrant.

    I need affordable insurance. We have to start somewhere. We need health care reform.

    Oh, by the way, the Constitution was a foundation upon which we started. Our 'founding fathers' did not have health care insurance problems back then. Private insurance companies were not making record profits or life and death decisions for Americans back then. America is just like technology – it has progressed since our Constitition was adopted on September 17, 1787. Everything has progressed since the Constitution and if you think otherwise, you just want to be mad and fearful.

    America is not in 1787 or 1788, it's 2009. Things have changed. Things have progressed. America needs health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  26. Richard H.

    There was, at one time, an FCC ruling about "truth in advertising". It was incumbent upon the advertising company as well as the networks to insure that truthful facts are presented in the ads. And yet you continue to broadcast ads of the opponents of the program with blatant lies about the Health Care program.
    Has that rule been rescinded? If not then why is it not enforced? If you [CNN] are not part of the enforcement then you are part of the problem.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  27. Mike K - Caledonia, Mi

    To Megan and her insistence that no one is talking about tort reform.: Claire McCaskill spoke about tort reform at her Town Hall meeting in Missouri yesterday. Apparently, Missouri took the lead on tort reform and accomplished a major reform in the last couple of years. This reform saved hundreds of millions of dollars from frivolous law suits and surprise, surprise, no one saw any decrease in their health insurance costs.

    Tort reform obviously should be part of this HC Reform. It probably won't be because most of our congress people are lawyers and minimizing lawsuits goes against their code of lack of ethics.

    If you are really concerned about living in a better country, Google Rick Scott and Stephen Hemsley. They are 2 of the richest and dirtiest people in the insurance industry and most likely the sponsors of corporate "grass roots" scare tactics as displayed by 60plus and the like.

    There are 40 million seniors who are members of AARP. These are some of the sharpest minds ever to grace our shores. AARP supports Health Care Reform and does not hold either Rick of Stephen in very high regard.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  28. Steven

    I just read Sues post and I wish to thank her for a clear and concise message. I agree with you, it is about hate and racism, pure and simple, and I would add just this – "you don't bring a knife to a gunfight", the Democratic leadership better wake up and and start confronting the right on all of these issues and stop behaving like scared little children trying appease the boogeyman. The right wing power structure under President Bush labeled all dissent as treason. They then proceeded to promote war, torture and corporate greed.
    To the woman from the clip who demanded of Senator Arlin Spector that we return to a nation ruled by the constitution, AMEN, I agree, the constitution is the supreme law of the land. However, there is nothing in it that bans public health care, if there was, the right wing would have ended all public health care when they had the White House and the majority in Congress and the majority on the Supreme court. I have seen you this morning being interviewed and it's funny, you could barely complete a concise sentence in answer to the questions put forth, yet yesterday you were very clear when you confronted Sen. Spector, could it have been the paper you had in your hand yesterday? You know, the one you printed out from some right wing web site telling you what to say. In your interview this morning you said(about the only clear thing you said!) you just want people to be self sufficient, well, my 92 year old grandmother isn't and will never be again in her lifetime. It sounds to me like your hoping for a seat on the "death panel" to eliminate her so you can get a another tax break and the insurance companies can make bigger profits.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  29. Carol Machael

    What’s wrong from a health care administrator’s perspective?
    • Too much duplication of service at government’s expense. Patient on Medicare or Medicaid can go to MD after MD for same service, reimbursed by the government each time. Private pay patients do not do this as they usually must pay something. This should be changed.

    • Inequity in Medicare reimbursement for providers depending on state (ex. Iowa with quality of care ranked 4th is 49th in reimbursementfor providers. Reimbursement provided for the same service in Iowa vs NY is vastly different. This should be equalized.

    • Patient “calls the shots” in too many cases (re: medications or services) and MD must comply or risk losing patient or suffer potential liability
    Example: Pregnant woman says, “My friend received an ultrasound for this and I should too”. So MD does an ultrasound so as not to be accused if outcome is not good.
    • Ability to sue is still too easy and drives up MD expense for insurance, which in turn drives up costs for patient. Especially OB’s are fearful of bad outcomes which may then trigger records request by attorney, etc.

    • Too many unnecessary services. Why do we do colonoscopies, mammograms and other routine but expensive services on patients of very advanced age? Why do these patients take cholesterol-reducing medications at expense of Medicare?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  30. Carole

    Carol Costello did a great job. She did seem to state the facts period. I especially loved how she pointed out that the ridiculous Death Panel rumor is sad due to a great Republican addressed the quality of life in the last six months.

    Carol Costello's segment shows that people just don't have the facts first.

    I don't understand why the racist Katy was on there. Where was her anger at Bush taking a surplus that turned to deficit? Where was Katy when TRILLIONS have been spent on the unnecessary Iraq war, with lives lost?

    Katy is just a racist, straight up. The American Indians want their country back to!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  31. Jim Kwiatkowski

    Why are they so mad about healhealth care? They lost the election and they are still mad. Misinformation was there stock and trade then and it continues now.

    The more outragious statements the more airtime they seem to get. I have no idea why anyone would listen to someone like Sara. She Quit! She is not someone I would follow anywhere.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  32. Mike

    This morning John Roberts commented that Abortion is not in the plan. However, yesterday Senator Specter stated it would be our choice to pick a plan with or without the abortion option. If people are not getting the facts it is because the elected officials do not know them or they are just saying what they think their constituents want to hear so they will support the plan. Either way it is all mute if a bill is not proposed. Because without a bill they can say whatever they want and then pass something none of us want. I would like to see reform, but right now, I cannot support the indecisive politicians!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  33. Julianne Hargreaves

    Saw a brief part of your effort to address the lies circulating about Health Insurance reform and applaud your efforts. More please, and keep it coming. How about adding the perspectives that: (1) it seems the loudest objections come from people who already HAVE health coverage (2) while there is not a specific change bill to be voted on right now, we DO have specific knowledge of how much rationing of care and financial hardship for insureds and non insureds alike already exists and absolutely no one argues it will get better if we do nothing (3) there is a moral issue here and we shame ourselves as Americans by not caring enough about 48 million of our fellow citizens to ensure their access to this basic need.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  34. Jon Auer

    This town hall was a staged act, with pre picked people by the white house. A trick to convince people we are ok!

    Why can the Congress and senate not Publish this proposed bill in book format, paperback, with the Print office and ditribute it to bookstores, why can we not read it ourselves, al lof it?

    I know how to use a dictonary, I know where the Library is and how to ask a Librarian for a Law dictionary to assist me in looking up judical words I may not understand.

    I went to college, and I can read!

    I am a working citizen not a stupid or ignorant fool. Why am I not allowed to see it?

    They want to help make money to replace the deficit, then publish it and let us buy it. The Profits to go back in the Treasury? It would not solve the crisis, but it could help some. What is really being hidden here and why?

    Maybe the public rumors and confusion would stop if you, CNN, actualy asked the in depth questions. Like: Proposed House Bill; Secion 123 page 30.

    Here are some suggestions: Define the make up of a Helth Advisory Committe? What is its exact purpose? Will it dictate coverages by only allowing the Best Practice described, in its Best case senario decision making? Who is supposed to chair this committe? Why do we even need one? How will the Legislature insure it does not get between the Doctor and Patient, what exact steps will prevent that from happening?

    Maybe CNN needs to become reporters again, not just playing them on TV!

    Confusion my back-side!...wake up. We are mad because it is all political spin and aloof behavior by the Goverment and the President.

    I voted for real change and Health Care is desperiately needed for all, and I men all, no exceptions. But I want truth, not spin and staged performances. This is not Hollywood it is real life.

    Jon in Nashville

    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  35. Roger Montgomery

    CNN mentions details not explicitly found in the proposal. True. But you do not extend the slippery slope to which universal coverage will lead.
    1. Insurance companies will not be able to compete with the federal government. Feds make the rules, umpire the game, and want to be a competitive player. Does that sound fair?
    2. Obama wants to force insurance companies' limits and policies regarding preexisting conditions and other actuarial parameters. This will increase coverage expenses, and will not reduce cost to the average consumer. Enforcing these rules while competing with the fed option will lead to non-profitable bottom lines, and the eventual elimination of the private option.
    3. And then you are left with only one option: the governement being the collector of premiums, the single payer, the ultimate employer of health care providers.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  36. jim vicalvi

    After watching the latest Obummer orchestrated meeting I knew from the beginning that they had a handpicked bunch of sheeple in rhe audience. From obummer's statement that if no one disagreed with him he would make a point of finding someone to his first pick being a fellow politician, coincidence?,I knew that the fix was in. I know that there is not a lot of info on reform available but who's fault is that? OBUMMER'S!! He tried to ram this thing thru Congress without any discussion and got caught. I agree that health care needs to be fixed but not by the govt. Fixed and govt. are like oil and water. Just like the Senate Intelligence committee is the ultimate oxymoron. With emphasis on the moron. Expensive suits and fancy hairdo's do not mean intelligence. Just lobbyists with deep pockets.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  37. Richard Becker

    It's very easy to see where Kiran,John and most of the CNN staff stand on this issue and it's with Obamacare. Almost all of you are intimating that everything about the coccerns Americans have are without basis because there is nothing in concrete. Granted, But I am looking at what the congress was planning on voting on (HR3200) before the August break. What they had in there and fully intended on jamming down American citizens throats before they were found out and called on it. Statements creating things such as Death Panels, Abortion funding, providing health care for Illegal immigrants aren't specifically spelled out in HR 3200 either. But, they left gaping loopholes and no stops built in to prevent these things from occuring are in the proposed bill either. What they have proposed in this piece of legisation should give pause to anyone looking at this health care reform.
    As I stated these things aren't in concrete and there are other versions out there but this is some of the things they are thinking about doing to the American people. If theyhad not been stopped by the Blue Dogs HR3200 would have been voted on as is. The 1018 page version would have been sent to the Senate for reconcilation. DON"T tell me that what they have in mind for America is a formula for socialism and the complete takeover of the health care system and eventually lead this country down the path to socialism. You need to read what has been proposed and gauge the mindset of this administration. They are the most dangerous enemy this country has had since its founding.

    Sincerely, Richard Becker, US Army MSG(RET), Frankfort, KY

    August 12, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  38. Allen - Indiana

    I'm a Republican, I'm not sure what's true or false. What I would like to see is better health insurance coverage and lower costs for health insurance. My current health insurance through my wifes employer is costing us 1/3 of her bi-weekly payroll. Were paying $365.00 dollars every two weeks for health, dental, optical and life. I believe we need healthcare overhaul, cause healthcare for working families is to expensive today. I'm a type 2 diebetic, i stopped buying my medications about 2-1/2 years ago, after I was layed off from work. With todays healthcare costs, I cannot afford to purchase my meds.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  39. Mark

    Those who oppose people protesting over the health care reform show in their posts that they had absolutely no problem with people protesting over the Iraq War. It is really pathetic to see these same posters say over and over that people need to shut up and get out of the debate. Who are the ones who are really trying to censor viewpoints and push their agenda with no opposition?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  40. John

    Question: What are the CURRENT unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security?

    Answer: Over 56 TRILLION dollars!

    And you suggest that fear over government involvement in the health care is unwarranted? Since government doesn't make money, it has to take it from us and spread it around. Is it that hard to figure out that there will not be enough funding and care will be rationed?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  41. Darlo

    I was just watching the little housewife's interview. I think she is the epitamy of the whole communication problem. By her own admission, she has never been interested in politics in her 35 years, but all of the sudden has an strong opinion based on very little information. She wants government to get out of her way, and to adhere to the constitution. Well, I am a woman small business owner, who has raised four children and have four grandchildren. I cannot afford to even hire any additional employees, let alone give us benefits. The middle class has carried this country on their backs for too long, without enough help from the government for the very real needs of the working people, of which this woman has not got a clue what they go through on a daily basis. These dissenters have not taken the time to educate themselves as to the realities of the workplace, especially for those who do not even have the luxury of a job. The constitution provides for a government by the people and for the people, doesn't that include the opportunity to obtain the basic necessities of life? The disparity between rich wall street executives, banks, etc. is growing because americans have been looking the other way and have given their country away to them. Government is not the bad guy, it is the pure greed and open stupidity of the uninformed public.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  42. Jerry Tomlinson

    I wanted to watch CNN to get your take on the proposed health care reform. You brought in one person to decide what is true and what is false. It was apparent to me that this person had an obvious bias in his opinions. Which version of the bill was he referring to when he gave all his false answers to concerns. It is my understanding that some versions do require federal funding for abortions, some versions do ration health care, some versions do have a panel of non medical people who will decide on health care for seniors. Why did you not bring up these facts and have someone to say all this is a possibility depending on what bill they finally come up with.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  43. Sonya

    It is appalling that the republicans are not speaking up and telling the truth about the Health Care "insurance" reform. I hoped that with the election and the positive energy of change that the issue of helping their fellow americans would take precendent over saving their own butts. Instead they are feeding lies and want this to fail so that Obama fails, this isn't about Obama it is about americans who can not get health care.
    I am Nurse Practitioner. The public with private insurance think that the insurance companies offer more choice. They have no idea that I can only prescribe them certain drugs, for so long, that the insurance companies limit their choices everyday, and change their minds monthly about what we can do for patients. Medicaid and Medicare have better drug formularies then most insurance. Public option for insurance that is broad, would make insurance companies compete. Right now they don't have to. Come on people, shut up an listen to the truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  44. ronvan

    Another example of how messed up this thing is: Reading todays paper, here in Columbus, Ga. Sen. Saxby Chambliss: In short he does not support the health plan. He does however, use Safeways Supermarkets as an example where they use the following to consider health benefits for their employees: Tobacco use, healthy weight, blood pressure & cholesterol levels. I am guessing that this store also tells you when to take your breaks/lunch, what you can say/not say while on the clock, and what you will wear. For me this is nothing short of a business taking over your life in order for you to work for them! I guess for the senator it is wrong to have 1 health care plan, which the president denies, but OK for business'es to control your life?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  45. Chris

    While it may be true that there is nothing in the bill explicitly allowing abortion, there was an amendment that was going to explicitly exclude it ... it was passed, and then re-voted on and then not passed. I am insulted that she would just gloss over the abortion deal by just saying "It's not in there"

    August 12, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  46. Bill - Vancouver, BC

    The segment on the facts and misinformation around the health care debate was a welcome relief from the focus on some of the the childishness of the townhall meetings. Keep it up.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  47. donnie

    How can we know the facts when there are several versions of a bill and not one? Simply look at the town hall meetings yesterday as proof. Senator McCaskill said there is nothing in the Senate bills that would provide federal funding for abortion, but yet Senator Spector said one of the public option plans will. We're so far away from a final bill and many things are likely to change.

    Here's the one thing I know ... there is not one government program that is run efficiently and effectively. I hear the President point to Medicare as a shining example, but it's going broke. He is serious?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  48. Curtis

    It amazes me how many conservatives/republicans are blindly spouting false information they have been spoon-fed by party leaders. Don't they realize when they stand up and spout lies and falsehoods that they look like utter crazy people and have no validity. If they actually took time to read and research, they might actually understand that they are being misled by GOP leaders and blind followers.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:00 am |

    I am confused. The republicans have 100+ ammendments thus far in the "work in progress " bill for health care reform and we call it a liberal agenda? Just like the recovery package they placed a lumpsome of ammendments and then voted no. Go figure. Party before Country

    August 12, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  50. David

    Bill – I read the plan, took hours but I did, but then that is not the final version.

    And of course what is available is so 'legaleze' who can really tell what all that verbiage means.

    It would be nice to have a point by point toned down list of items this bill would address. And of course, factual, have to have factual

    August 12, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  51. Letitia Mckenzie

    Well I am a female 45 year old native in San Diego, Ca.Have never lived or traveled out side of here ! I maintained medical coverages though my employers and at times with medical thru the state assitance. I have two children, 27 year male and 6 year old girl, 21 years apart and being a single parent,I continued my education and employment.
    Health care is weakest when it comes to American war vets, elderly, disabled and low income. Well I have become disabled with COPD after a toxic chemical related incident at a job ! and it is server and non reversible, I have now been put on medicare and medical and this is called medi/medi coverage, and has become more more confusing disappointing than needs be. I now have to pay a premium out of my disability insurance and paying for medication I need to treat and aid in the ability to breath to do daily normal functions, I' m WORRIED! what is the quality of life going to be and that I can share with my girl, Now I pay for my asthma inhalers and now denied certain treatment, There is no dental coverage, of course now that I need it ! I have paid in and put out ! why is believing and to say (PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN) NOT ROLL OFF THE TOUNGE SO QUICK OR WITH CONFEDENSE. I want to see and enjoy my daughter passed grade school. Leaves me wondering and worried ! What is she to look forward too at 16 ! I'll stop rambling.! I'M NO DIFFERANT THAN THOUSANDS !

    August 12, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  52. Javier

    I loved how u brought bill into the convo, i too hate when people start falsefying documents, in this case facts. Great show, keep the truth coming–BTW i dont have health care and i hope that obama gets his bill through.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  53. Robert

    Carol, with all due respect, these things you and John claim are not present in the bill, are present in countries with National Health care. So you are saying it willm never be present in our National healthcare? Why are we so special? And finally, don't you think somethings fishy when nobody can read the bill, and must pass it immediately? No red flags? Hello?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  54. Sarah K.

    Thank you so much for this story! I had been so aggravated with CNN's coverage of the debate – only showing people's angry reactions and statements representing misinformation. I do think this story is a bit overdue – but I certainly hope you will keep up this kind of reporting. And for those who say this is just a pro-Obama piece – some folks have their minds made up and won't listen to any facts or reason (any report that counters their views are "liberally biased.") Quite frankly, I think some of these people just want to see Obama fail, it wouldn't matter what the plan is.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  55. Marko

    What's true or false?

    How can any politician(especially democrats adamant about this bill) support something that they have never read? It just boggles my mind.

    I would never sign a contract w/o reading it, so why are they trying to push something no one has read fully down our throats and ask us to pay for it?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  56. Didi

    Here's my frustration. Even if we don't have reform, there's nothing to stop your company or insurance company from restricting your choices. It already happened to my husband. His company decided on a "plan" that would be more restrictive and that happened three years ago.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  57. Karen

    I believe that we are in need of health care reform. I was unemployed from May 2007 to February 2008. I had a temp job from March to November of 2008 and have been unemployed ever since. I have no health insurance. Even while working because I was a temp but working 40 hours per week the company did not pay health insurance. I had to pay out of pocket. So even if you are employed, currently you are not guaranteed to have health insurance. I therefore believe we do need health care reform. We need choices. I believe that the current system needs to not have a monopoly on health care and have some competition. Perhaps this would lower the cost of health insurance. It works in retail why not in health care? The problem is that we are hearing and seeing all these conflicting stories on what’s in and what’s not. The American people need to get the facts. We need to have access of this bill, IN PLAIN LANGUAGE, so we can read and understand for ourselves what it is proposing. I think only then can we make an intelligent and informed decision on if we want this particular bill passed or not. What some opponents are doing by putting out false statements of what the bill says and is proposing is underhanded and totally juvenile. I mean what their actions is telling me is that they have so little faith in the intelligence of the American people, that they feel that they can scare us into doing their bidding? We need to read that bill for ourselves, get the TRUTH and then make our own decisions.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  58. Bertina

    The fact that the 35 year old woman from PA was interviewed and told CNN how ignorant she was on many issues, how can CNN not try to disabuse this woman on her facts and how wrong she was on many levels?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  59. Ann-Virginia

    This "stat at home mom"from Arlon Spectors town hall meeting is not informed enough to make a judgement on healthcare or the economy.She has bits & pieces of information,some of which is true,some not true,&some incomplete.This is how mis-information spreads.She needs to study the complete picture,both pro & con before she comments.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  60. Carole

    Regarding Katy Abrams on the show.....what was that about? She wants the country back? Where was she when we spent BILLIONS of dollars on the Iraq unnecessary war?

    She is just upset at having a Black President. The American Indians want their country back.

    **Where were these people charging Bush when he put us in this mess?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  61. Bill

    David, I suggest you read the proposed plan yourself. There are several places you can download HR3200 which is the main plan being touted.

    Erik, I have made a living will with advance directive instructions; but not everyone wants to do that. They should have that right! The current bill MANDATES each individual get that counselling every five years. There is no mention of a "Death Panel," but there is a group that will review treatment relevancy and decide on cost vs benefit to society.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  62. fadi

    What's true is that every american; child man and woman, deserve to go to the doctor covered. What's true is that for a long time we owed alot to our great country, but now it is time for a pay back. What's false is that we have promised with health-care from every new president who held the office in the first 6 months and faded away, and next thing we know, we go to a war and spend 10 times the cost of health- care. Now, does this make any since to any human being with the present of mind.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  63. Dave

    This is exactly right. Over time, whatever the plan starts out being – it will turn into an awful, costly mess. Look at any of the other big programs the government started. If the government cannot do medicare successfully, why should we trust them with more?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  64. Sue

    I completely agree with PB06 Atlanta, and Congressman David Scott, who spoke very well this moring and really hit the nail on the head – it's about HATE and RACISM, not just the healthcare debate. I am a female Democrat in my late 40's, and it's very easy for me to see and feel the fear that is being stoked by the conservatives and the insurance companies because my family is mostly conservative. They are believing all the contrived and insiteful e-mails that are circulating like wildfire. And what I'm seeing in these town hall debates (is it a debate when only one side screams?) is taken from these e-mails. I also see a lot of hate toward a black president. And no amount of debate or explaining is going to change their minds. People filled with racism and hate are coming out in the open now that we have a black president. It doesn't matter how intelligent he is, or how much good he wants to do for all Americans. They will never trust him, and that is the reality behind all the fear.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  65. Richard

    This is a very important debate and I can see why some are upset with all the lies and propaganda plastering the airways...
    Yesterday in PA though, the tone was not wanting to get informed, the questions were more about setting the tone that the admoinistration was socialist and somehow those people were more American than the rest of the country...
    The woman in blue did nothing but spout right wing radicals buzz lines about losing right, turning into Russian style Gov and the goverment not following the constitution...
    This turning out to show this is just the losing right using it to disrupt the Obama plans to help this counyrt...

    August 12, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  66. jay m

    Townhall meeting seems to be a waste of time because I don't think they change many people's mind, some people can't handle the truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  67. Jerry W. Freeman

    I think the people who are against health care reform are the same one's who belive we went to war over WMD's. I will make this point any reform will pass if congress pass law that no public offical can have health care payed for with public funds unless all the public have health care. I invite congress, CNN, the President to come to Lewisburg TN and talk to us poor folk

    August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  68. Pennee Struckman

    United Health Plan made a profit in the third quarter of 2008 of $20.8 BILLION. The current population of the United States is 305,182,292. United Health Plan, at it's current profit level, would make $66 dollars per person if every citizen was covered.

    WellPoint Inc reported profits of $15.3 billion, and Aetna $7.8 Billion. Instead of government run health care, I would hope the President would enact the same legislature over health plan providers that he did to control the credit card companies who were taking raising interest rates and minimum monthly payments.

    Health Care has become For-Profit business. Doctors are immobilized by the corporate health care systems. When the doctor treats a patient who is not covered, because of a “pre-existing” condition, or uninsured due to job loss or low income, the physician still has to use the services of a hospital, the MRI’s, X-rays, blood labs and testing facilities to diagnose and treat his patient. While the individual doctors, who have taken an oath to “do no harm” are willing to reduce their fees, the hospitals and laboratories do not. This results in patients either avoiding needed health care, or going bankrupt.

    Bill Maher, in his article New Rule: Not Everything in America in America Has to Make a Profit suggests that the “problem with President Obama’s health care plan isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism”.

    The question stands. Is the Health Care Reform once again bailing out Big Business, like the financial bailout earlier this year? Is the government going to pick up the people rejected by health care, so that the health care giants can continue to make unbridled profits on the backs of Americans?

    In the third quarter of 2008, United Health Group was the top publicly traded managed care company, reporting profits from premiums of $20.2 BILLION. Wellpoint, Inc. was number 2, with profits of $15.3 BILLION, and third was Aetna Inc, (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) with $7.8 BILLION in profits.

    I would hope that government would stop trying to fix what isn’t really broken. I would like to see my President address the greed in the health care industry, and do something about this.

    Enact legislation over the health care companies, as he did with the Credit Card companies, which will benefit all Americans. And offer hope and some financial relief individually to those of us who have financially buckled under the weight of uninsured or uncovered medical treatment costs.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  69. LeAnne

    I am dismayed by those who choose to outshout any explanation about health care reform. If what they say is true, then allow discussion without the rude shouting and the truth will come to light. I origionally wanted to learn more about the plan before supporting it, but now I am in support due to the opposition. The shouting tells me that they are afraid to allow facts to come out and expose who is really telling lies.

    I would also like to know if those who are opposed due to cost and government interferance have taken advantage of other programs like healthy kids, college grants, upgraded roads, cash for clunkers ect? Those lacking health care deserve to be as healthy as they can be and there are a lot of people who are not sick enough to get on a current government plan, but ARE sick enough to have trouble getting a job that pays insurance. It may not be fair or even legal, but once you are sick, both insurances and employers do not want you!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  70. terry smith

    people need to be practical...calm yourselves and educate yourselves before forming an opinion. base your opinions on fact.

    think before stipidity pours from your the guy with the Hummer analogy....if you can"t afford health care; we will be sure to save you if you have an catastrophic accident – otherwise you get want you can afford which is nothing....if it was his kids he couldn"t provide care for he would be singing a different story. basic health care for our children is not a hummer; it is basic human compassion.

    and shame on Sara Palin for feeding the mob mentality – same tactics she used in the election with her terrorists remarks. she is so irresponsible and she is blatant about it. she is not looking out for america; she is looking out for Sara Palin – it scares me that people actually feed into her rhetoric.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  71. Dianna Simms, Upper Tract, WV

    I've been lucky enough to work where I had health care, and now I'm retired and on Medicare. All of the media are talking to people who, apparently, have health care and they are concerned. How about asking the 47 million who do not have health care, mostly because they can't afford it, if they are for or against reform. I heard on tv last night that 30% of a hospital bill goes to pay for the uninsured patients. This fact needs to be talked about. Those who are protesting reform should ask why the insurance companies are fighting tooth and nail against reform. Could it be $$$$$?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  72. George

    I do not have health care and I have type 1 Diabetes. The cost for each month for insulin and testing supplies exceeds $1000 including doctor appointments. If it was not for local benefit programs I would be bankrupt. I have a short amount of time left and I worry about what I will do once time is expired for my benefits. Those benefits are paid by taxes already. Why can there not be a plan that includes everyone and is cheaper per person since on a large scale?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  73. paul huylebroeck

    CANADIAN healthcare is paid for by sin taxes primarily. BEER, BOOZE, SMOKES. I WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE SOFT DRINKS AS WELL. I am a 72 year old american expat living here for 40 years. in recent years i've had multiple hospitalizations. long lifesaving procedures. i get all the tests, xrays necessary and because i am over 65, the ambulance was free also. true there are longer waits sometimes, but triage takes the most serious first. I NEVER PAID ONE DIME. the fear and loathing of the canadian health care system is unwarranted. DEAR USA, TAX YOUR BOOZE,BEER, TOBACCO AND SOFT DRINKS AND YOU WONT HAVE TO TAX ANYONE WHO ISN'T CAUSING THE HEALTH CRISIS

    August 12, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  74. David

    There are so many sites popping us such as, even has posted how to fight this plan. The posting above only lists the one site, and it was sort of helpful, but where do we go for real, nonpartisan information. I mean information that is not swayed left such as much of CNN or swayed right such as that from Fox News??? I just want information that I can believe in

    August 12, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  75. Erik

    I am a doctor in Family Medicine. I wish that the clip about Obama talking about "pulling the plug on grandma" included more than him just saying that he was "against that." The notion that the government or the president would endorse a "Death Panel" is so far-fetched that it should be considered a psychotic delusion. (Nazi death panels, really?) The REALITY is that they would want people to talk about their living will or advance directive, a document that indicates who you want to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated and can't make those decisions on your own, and also spells out to/ that person what you would or wouldn’t want done to you. Do you want CPR? A breathing machine? A feeding tube or an IV? The government wouldn’t make those decisions, you healthcare power of attorney would, and that person is appointed by YOU, not the government. Please get someone on to tell the truth about advance directives and living wills instead of keeping the rumor mill churning.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  76. Shag

    Both of your guest were wrong about a bipartisan approach. On almost everything the president has done, the Republicans have rejected it, because all they are interested in is the '10 elections. Sen. DeMint verbalized this with the "his Waterloo" comment.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  77. Bill

    Excuse me, PB06, the majority of the people aren't against health care, but they are against the health care reform as embodied by the only bills on the table which have been formulated by the liberal Democrats. Look at the polls. We need reform, not a complete overhaul of the health care system AND our system of government. BTW it's not the people attending the meetings in oppostion to these bill that are the thugs (yes, too noisy and disrespectful in many cases). There was no violence until the White House called out the purple shirt SEIU and other union members to "hit back harder."

    August 12, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  78. Megan

    How come no one will talk about tort reform? This is never brought up. This is a serious issue that Obama doesn't want to address. People talk about doctors performing "defensive" medicine, and yet most of that comes from the constant fear of "missing something" and being sued. Until we deal with out of control judgments and frivolous lawsuits, we cannot have an honest conversation about health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  79. Shag

    While I believe there is some consternation amongst citizens about the unkown, for anyone to suggest that the protest on the right are organic is ridiculous. The marching orders and talking points are all over the internet. I am suprised you haven't gotten your hands on the papers.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  80. Amy

    Thank you, Carol. I've been searching for information on the facts of what these bills currently offer and have not seen a news story or blog that hasn't been full of sensationalism and short on substance. Now I can look at things and make up my own mind. Who knows maybe I'll even be able to share this information and stop some of the fear among family and friends, if people are willing to listen.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  81. Bill

    Costello's whole segment is what's false. It was obviously another pro-Obama, force the plan (whatever it may be) down people's throat. It may not be the final bill, but the House bill is the only thing we have to look at to see where Congress is headed. So that's what we're commenting on to keep these disgraceful things out of the final bill.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  82. PB06 Atlanta

    So much media attention is being spent on the disruptions that are happening at Town Hall Meetings, it gives the impression that the majority of people are against health care. The news commentators usage of words to describe these meetings are, "People are really upset over this health care Bill", PEOPLE are speaking out against this. SOME people are upset and most of them do not come to the town hall meetings to LISTEN to anything that is said, much less ask questions and be respectful enough to listen to the answer. The people who have come to at least listen what is being said is not allowed to do this because of these disruptions and thugs. It has gotten nasty, and dangerous and you have genuine thugs who are taking this time to come out against the President because they did not vote for him and do not want him as President. All this non-sense thats going on does not have anything to do with just health care. Just listen to the statements made by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:23 am |